News


State PBA President Pat Colligan and Executive Vice President Marc Kovar today joined NAPO leaders from around the United States at the White House to meet with President Trump and Vice President Pence to discuss combatting the national anti-police sentiment and to announce NAPO’s endorsement of the President’s re-election.

NAPO recently voted to endorse the President after backing former Vice President Biden in 2008 and 2012.  President Trump has frequently spoken out in favor of the nation’s law enforcement officers and he has been especially supportive recently as some public officials have spoken out against and threatened to defund law enforcement.  

President Colligan and Executive Vice President Kovar both spoke to the President during the meeting with NAPO leaders to express the disappointment of the State PBA in those officials that criticize law enforcement officers while ignoring the outbreak of lawlessness and murder that has spread across the nation.

Executive Vice President Kovar, who serves as a NAPO elected officer, told the President: “Too many elected officials have let us down despite the fact that New Jersey officers do their job professionally and with less need for force than officers in nearly every other State.”

President Colligan has been outspoken that the public campaign against the police is not only bad for morale and officer safety but the effort to limit the powers and response of the police is empowering a dangerous criminal element in too many places.

The meeting at the White House was also attended by PBA and NAPO leaders from New York, Florida, Massachusetts and Texas as well.  The President once again reiterated his support for the law enforcement community and pledged to continue to fight to keep officers and our communities safe. 

View Official Announcement Here

Calling it a “great first step”, New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan today released the following statement thanking the Appellate Division for granting the request by the State PBA and a number of other law enforcement unions for a stay of the Attorney General's Directives requiring law enforcement agencies to release the names of law enforcement officers who were issued major discipline since 2000. 
 
A number of law enforcement agencies intended to release and publish this information by July 15th.  This means that law enforcement agencies cannot publish the names of law enforcement officers who have been issued major discipline and summaries of that discipline pending further order of the Court. 
 
Colligan and the NJSPBA were among a number of concerned members of the law enforcement community who immediately rushed to the defense of members of law enforcement to ensure that confidential and personal files could not be simply released by fiat with no examination of the legality and potentially devastating consequences that will surely accompany the Attorney General’s decree.
 
“We have consistently said that we are willing to work with the Attorney General towards a resolution that is fair, just as we always have,” said Colligan.  “In the absence of partnership that allows us all to root out bad actors without sacrificing individuals who will be unfairly ruined in the rush to secure a soundbite, we will continue to pursue any and all legal remedies.  We know that this is an ongoing process, but this ruling is a great first step for our members and for the public at large.”
 
The case will be argued before the Appellate Division in October and the Appellate Division will issue a decision on whether to permanently stay the Attorney General's Directives. 

We are very disappointed the Attorney General has chosen to attack our integrity with his tweets.  He knows us better than that and we have always managed to work together productively to benefit our law enforcement community.  Unfortunately his decision to release major disciplinary records is an overreach that violates the rights of our active and retired members.  We don’t want bad cops in our midst.  But this directive does nothing to keep bad cops off the streets.  His order, done with zero prior discussion with New Jerseys law enforcement professionals, serves no public safety purpose. The order doesn’t provide any context to the discipline, it has no bearing on an officers ability to do his job honorably, it punishes those who already have been disciplined and it only serves as salacious material for the media and those who hate the police.  Instead of tweeting the AG can call us back to the table and rewrite this policy so it makes sense.  Otherwise he leaves us no choice but to ask the courts to correct this error. 

The State PBA, along with the STFA, State Police NCO Association and the FOP, along with PBA locals representing officers in the DCJ and JJC have filed emergent appeals with the Appellate Division to enjoin the Attorney General from implementing the two Directives ordering and authorizing the release of names of officers who received major discipline with summaries of the discipline and the sanctions imposed.  The Attorney General ordered the State Police, the DCJ and JJC to release the information retroactive to 2000 by July 15th.  We are asking the court to bar the Attorney General from ordering and authorizing the release of this information by July 15th or at any time after that pending the outcome of the appeal.

The State PBA has for decades fought to make New Jersey’s law enforcement officers the most professional and best trained in the nation.  While we too are angered when police officers abuse their power, we also believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally under the law.  Police officers especially.  Unfortunately, the Attorney General’s “Major Discipline” Directive does not treat every officer equally. 

While the term “major discipline” sounds like an officer has severely violated the public trust, in reality police officer discipline wildly differs from town to town.  Major discipline in some places could be handed down for a uniform violation.  The Attorney General’s Directive is far too broad and it treats all officers unequally.  While we have pledged to work with the Attorney General on enhancing our profession this new policy does not recognize those arbitrary differences.  The Policy is going to smear officers unfairly who have not violated the public trust and I would respectfully suggest it needs to go back to the drawing board.

I have directed Legal Counsel for the State PBA to review the policy to ensure that officer rights are protected.

View Official Statement Here

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